Faith during the Apocalypse
The Killing Choice
The world has ended. Laws are upheld by no one. People are reverting to their base nature—good and bad. It’s total chaos. Anarchy rules the day. The dead walk the streets. Aliens fly around in spaceships. Natural disasters have devastated the world. No laws or government stand between you and your deepest desires. You are free to do whatever you want—but so is everyone else.
Welcome to the apocalypse.
I’m not sure about “normal” people, but for me—I’m anything but normal—this is something I think about on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
It’s not because I’m scared of the end or feel like I’m unprepared, I know where I’m going after this life fades into the abyss and I’m at peace.
No, what keeps this topic returning to my mind are the “what if” questions. What would I do if someone took my family from me and I had to wade through the blood of my enemies to get them back? How far would I go to save the ones I love? Would I be able to kill someone? Would I be willing to give my own life?
See, it’s not the events at the end of the world that intrigue me, but what would happen after all the rules and laws we’ve lived under our whole lives crumble to dust. When nothing holds us back but our own moral compass and sense of right and wrong. In a world where someone is willing to do anything to live, I would have to do the same or lose my life—or even worse, the lives of my family.
These questions don’t just come up at the end of the world though, but in everyday life. I’ve thought about them long and hard, and I know I’d be willing to do what’s necessary to protect my loved ones.
I’d do whatever it takes to save them, but now here’s the hard part. What would the aftermath be like? After I’ve made the decision and ended a life—or lives—to keep my family safe, what would I feel? Guilt, shame, remorse, determination, anger–those and many others I would wager. Some people would be crippled by what they’d done, others could shrug it off and move on, with little thought, but everyone would be affected.
These are questions every person would have to ask themselves and decisions they would face at the end. And when you throw a Christ-based faith into the mix, things get even more complicated.
I’m a firm believer that God created all of us—man and woman—with a fierceness inside, and I know it’s true for me, which is why I wouldn’t hesitate with my family’s lives on the line. But when does self-defense become something else? When does taking out a bad guy to save my wife turn in to me killing anyone in my path because they could be a threat? I don’t think there is a hard line there that separates the two, it seems hazy and gray at best.
God does not shy away from violence, per se, just look at the Old Testament and even some places in the New; look at the soldiers and Marines who are overseas keeping us all free. God will not condemn them purely because they wish to keep their family and country safe, but we know there is a line there. “Thou shall not murder” is a commandment we’re still meant to follow, and we must.
So that begs the question: is all killing “murder?”
I’m not wise enough to answer that in any surety, but something in me says no. There is a time and place. Although I hope to never find out personally, these questions are still there.
The apocalypse would bring these to the forefront of all our minds and, unless we were extremely lucky, we’d have to make hard decisions based on our answers.
People would die, either because of an action you chose or because of inaction.
The end would make people’s base nature rise to the surface, and there would be nothing but their morality and faith to hold them back.
That is a concept that fascinates me, because each person would deal with this differently. It’s the reason I like watching The Walking Dead, not for the zombies—although I love those too—but because of the characters and their choices. I like to see what they do when faced with certain situations and how far they take those decisions.
It’s the reason I had to write a series and put my own characters into these situations, to find out what they’d be willing to do.
Let me tell you, I haven’t faced the apocalypse, but I’ve been in the heads of people who have, and there are no easy choices. Every decision they made was faced with major consequences.
Not a single one of my characters came to the end without some sort of scars, on their bodies or minds. It was brutal and where once—in my naivety—I actually looked forward to the apocalypse and the chance to kill zombies on a whim, now I see that it’s an event I hope to never face.
Because if my characters were that beaten and bruised by the end, how would I truly fare?
There is a bright side however—a silver lining.
Jesus saves and has grace on us all.
I found that in the apocalypse when my characters, who were truly good at heart, had to commit atrocities to stay alive that He forgave them.
By the end, they were not the same people, and, after an event like that, none of us would be. But with God they were able to grow from the choices they had made—whether right or wrong—and He redeemed even them.
And He does and would redeem us, no matter what we’ve done or the decisions we make. The God today is the same God that was there at the creation of the world, and the One that’ll be there at the end of it all.
More about Joshua Chadd:
Joshua is a Jesus Freak and follower of the Way. As an adventurous nerd, he loves the outdoors and when he’s not found high in the mountains of Alaska, he can be observed living on the rolling plains of eastern Montana with his wife, guns, and two katanas. He has a passion for all things imaginary and finds inspiration in the wilderness, away from all the distractions of life. Some of his other passions include hunting, shooting, board and video games, hard rock, movies, reading, and the Walking Dead.